By Waylon Bailey
I am fascinated with Chick-fil-A. I like the food, the service, the planning to redo their drive up lane, and their business model.
What I like best is the commitment of the family to make their business Christ honoring.
Recently, I read an article by Jessica Mouser in ChurchLeaders.com about Chick-fil-A (CFA) and the commitment and faithfulness of the founder of the company and his family.
While an article about the Cathy family could go in a number of directions (people seem to be fascinated that they don’t open on Sunday), this particular article had to do with the family meeting in 2000 where the children of founder Truett Cathy met with their parents and entered into a covenant. Dan Cathy and his siblings, Bubba and Trudy, promised their parents they would keep Chick-fil-A true to its principles.
Specifically, they promised their parents they would never open Chick-fil-A on Sundays, they would continue the companies’ charitable work, and that they would be constant in their commitment to Jesus Christ. “Business Insider” gives the covenant in this way, “We will be faithful to Christ’s lordship in our lives. As committed Christians we will live a life of selfless devotion to His calling in our lives. We will prayerfully seek His leadership in all major decisions that impact our family and others.”
How is Chick-fil-A doing with these commitments? Currently, the business ranks third in sales in the U.S. for food chains, following McDonalds and Starbucks. What makes this so interesting is that CFA has only 2400 locations, significantly less than its rivals, but it’s earnings are at the top. Business Insider estimates that CFA misses $1 billion in sales each year by not opening on Sunday. but Business Insider also calls this a brilliant plan that works.
What does all this show? Among so many other lessons, it shows that people want to do business with people of love, commitment, and integrity. It shows that Christian hospitality (“My Pleasure”) and the desire to go the second mile touch very real human needs.
While I am fascinated with this business, I am more fascinated and in love with all the people who seek to honor Christ. Sometimes our commitment does not work out for good in this life.
Real commitment means that we determine to live for Christ anyway.
That is a beautiful commitment.
Waylon Bailey is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Covington and president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board. This editorial first appeared on his blog.